Photography Vs Videography

I recently started shooting capturing video and I started learning the workflow. I want explain how much more difficult it is through my eyes. I know Final Cut Pro enough to get the job done, not as good as I know Aperture but well enough.

Capturing / Shooting: Photo Win

I do photography / shoot with a Nikon D700, one of the better cameras on the market. I can take an image pretty much any time day or night and take a sharp image. Capturing video on the other hand is so very different. For example at night I need to have at least a tripod. Along with the tripod I would need steady robot hands for manual focusing and tent to hide the camera in to prevent wobble. Video of course is captured at 24p which at the same settings as a still camera would come out much darker.

Uploading / Processing / Choosing: Photo Win

When done shooting / capturing comes the time to upload and figure out what to keep. With Photo I upload to Aperture, wait for images to process and then star all of my favorite images. For video capture I have to upload all of the videos into either iMovie 09 or Final Cut Pro. With iMovie you have to wait for thumbnails to render. The biggest pain with video is compared to photos where you just "star" the image to set up for editing you have several more steps for video. These steps include finding the video clip you want, marking the in and out points and then drag the clip into the timeline. All of which is harder then simply marking an image with a star.

Editing: Photo Win

So with photos you have the same amount of possible editing you have with video. So for example you still have to do contrast / saturation / sharpness etc to each individual clip. Photos can take a lot of changes without pixelation due to the size of each photo is much larger than an individual frame from video. Not only larger in resolution but also in data size. So you cannot apply as much editing as you may want to video. So both photo and video seem to be about the same amount of work as far as color and edits until you start arranging videos on the timeline. If you want to match movies to music you have to size the files up / rearrange / speed up the clips to fit correctly. This seems simple but if you want to movie to flow correctly / want people to actually finish the movie it is a lot of work.

Exporting: Photo Win

For photos you typically export to .jpg in which is widely compatible with everything on the web for upload or printing. For video you have so many options from codecs to frame rates. A lot of times you will upload a HD video but the site / host will not recognize it as HD because it did not have the correct output settings. Seems like the difficulty of everything you do is magnified with video, almost like they do not want you to succeed.

End Result: Photo Win

Imagine a stunning photo framed in a gallery hung with proper lighting. Sounds really impressive right? Now picture what you get for video, now keep in mind you are not shooting for Fox studios or a big company, a lot of videography today is all done for the web. You could invite over friends for a viewing on your HD tv but is that really comparable to the hung image in a gallery? No, No, not at all.


I feel for videographers now that I understand more of what they do. The videos they create are way under appreciated, seriously this is some time consuming stuff. I am going to be uploading a very mediocre video titled "You and I", this took me several hours and I will get no appreciation. Why? Well for 1 it is not that great and 2 no one knows how much time goes into capturing / editing etc video.

When DSLRs first started shipping with video I was scared for videographers. Since the cost of DSLRs has become cheaper a lot of people bought them and swamped the photo market offering free services to gain experience and trust me because I was one of those people. I now only shoot for myself and projects I want to do but also for free. Back on topic since these DSLRs can do amazing video with full control over DOF I thought people will try to dip into videography just for the simple fact that they can.

What do these photographers need to get started? If they are serious they will need more expensive software than what they are using now with photography. Since all the photography apps have nothing to do with video all new apps will be needed to work with the video professionally. On top of the software the computer needs to be able to handle a lot of HD video in some cases will lead to a brand new computer.

My original theory that professional videographers should be scared is being less and less an issue. I have lived the life of a videographer and I don't think it is for the masses.

Side note / Sad note:

This is the most I have written in a single anything for over 5 years. Don't judge me.